Kathie Lee Gifford is a veteran TV host, a singer-songwriter, a writer, a playwright, and an actress. She first rose to prominence back in the ’90s for her hosting duties on the syndicated talk show Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee which she co-hosted with Regis Philbin. Gifford is also known for her work on the syndicated entertainment TV show The Insider before joining the NBC in March 2008. She currently serves as the co-host of the fourth hour of NBC’s The Today Show.
Kathie Lee Gifford
She was born Kathryn Lee Epstein on August 16, 1953, in Paris, France. Her mother, Joan (née Cuttell) was a singer and her father, Aaron Epstein was a US Navy officer and also a musician. She was raised in Bowie, Maryland and she schooled at Bowie High School. As a high school student, Kathie Lee Gilford joined a folk group, “Pennsylvania Next Right” which regularly performed at school assemblies. For college, Kathryn enrolled to study music and drama at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. However, she allegedly quit during her junior year.
Kathie’s media career took off in the 1970s when she featured as a vocalist on the game show Name That Tune. While at it, she did some voice-over work and also guest-starred in several films and TV series. By 1978, she joined the cast of the short-lived TV variety show Hee Haw Honeys.
Gifford’s first major TV gig came in June 1985 when she joined Regis Philbin as the co-host of The Morning Show on ABC’s flagship station WABC-TV. The show went into syndication in 1988 as Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee and consequently, Gifford was shot into national prominence becoming one of the most popular faces on American television. For 8 consecutive years, she was nominated alongside her co-host, Regis Philbin for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host for her work on Live!.
Gifford took some time off television following her departure from Live! in 2000. She made a return in September 2005 when she began a one-year stint as a special correspondent on the syndicated entertainment TV show The Insider. Her spell on The Insider came to an end in 2006 however, she did not return to TV until 2008. She landed one of her most notable TV roles on March 31, 2008, when she was announced as a co-host on NBC’s The Today Show. She co-hosts the fourth-hour segment of the show Today with Kathie Lee and Hoda alongside Hoda Kotb.
Where Is She now? Is She Leaving The Today Show?
Kathie Lee Gifford has maintained her co-hosting role on The Today Show for over a decade. However, there have been strong speculations in recent times that her time on the show could come to an end in the near future as the NBC network is seeking to replace her. Gifford is reportedly not oblivious of this fact as she has reportedly made plans of veering into her other passions including acting, writing and Christian ministry.
Net Worth, Salary
Kathie Lee Gifford’s career in the media currently spans over 4 decades. Since beginning her career in the 1970s, she has made a steady rise through the ranks to become one of the most popular faces on American television. The veteran TV host earns an annual salary of $2 million for her hosting role on The Today Show. Her net worth is currently pegged at an astonishing $30 million.
Expectedly, some good portion of Gifford’s net worth has accrued from her illustrious media/showbiz career. However, this multitalented TV star also has several other profitable ventures to her name. She owns a wine company ‘Gifft Wines’ which she co-founded in March 2014 in partnership with Scheid Family Wines.
Kathie Lee Gifford had 2 children during her marriage to Frank Gifford, a former football player and sports commentator. They welcomed their first child on March 22, 1990, a son named Cody Newton Gifford. On August 2, 1993, the couple had their second child, a daughter named Cassidy Erin Gifford.
Just like her famous mother, Cassidy Gifford has made her into the showbiz having marked her acting debut back in 2005. On the other hand, Cody Gifford played college football just like their equally famous father. He is now a scriptwriter and he also founded a Los Angeles-based film production company. Gifford’s husband Frank Gifford died in August 2015 at their home in Greenwich, Connecticut. In his honor, she released the song “He Saw Jesus” in 2017.